Utafiti Sera: Linking evidence to policy

The city administration of Addis Abeba is undertaking a massive integrated housing development program to address the acute housing problem of the city since 2006. Housing supply is not the only goal of this program; instead its ultimate desire is to use Integrated Housing Development Program (IHDP) as a tool to reduce urban poverty, which is the prime concern of the city. IHDP has primarily aimed to provide mass housing to address the housing problems of the city. It also aimed among others; to create huge employment opportunity, provide basic infrastructure facilities, facilitate mortgage access, promote affordable payment modality, promote urban renewal to reduce slum areas, promote targeted subsidy to women and disable residents, promote economic use of urban land and introduce cheap construction technology.

High population migration into the city has accelerated the housing stock demand beyond capacity. The housing sector that engages in supplying housing stock to the city’s residence has been in long standing strain. This has left many city residents to live in sub-standard houses. Dr. Sebawit G Bishu notes that in Addis Abeba, housing supply is most crucial in the middle and low income groups of the population.

Poor housing supply in the city is fostered by a number of factors. Particularly among the urban poor, limited access to decent to affordable housing has driven fast growing informal and squatter settlements in the city. Some of the factors are as follows:

  •  Lack of access to affordable land and the widely practiced market-oriented land management system (Tesfaye 2007).
  • Poor land management practices
  • Lack of diversified housing delivery system; the absence of robust and affordable housing construction industry; and the absence of diversified housing financing system are all factors that continually shape the housing stock supply in the city.

Utafiti Sera an initiative by Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PAS GR) came up with a program on Urban Governance and City Transformation  so as to bring together different stakeholders in the industry to provide expertise and also to amend or make new policies that will cater for improved housing.

The Integrated Housing Development programme uses housing development including addressing urban poverty, unemployment, promote and build the capacity of the construction industry and promote Micro and Small Enterprises( MSEs).

Policy brief on the IHDP project